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Global MIT Founders' Skills Accelerator

Published: 28 Feb 2014

Apply to be the only Canadian university student group in Summer 2014 at the MIT Global Founders Skills Accelerator!

You have the chance to go to MIT with select groups of MIT students and several foreign universities.


The Global Founders Skills Accelerator (GFSA) is an incredible residential summer accelerator (approx. June 15 to Sept. 10, 2014) that blends academic content with coaching, advice and resources to help a team of McGill students (max. 5) move their start-up project forward (see information for MIT students to get an idea: https://entrepreneurship.mit.edu/our-resources/mit-global-founders-skills-accelerator, although the financial support McGill students will get will be somewhat different than MIT students). The Dobson Centre will provide a sufficient and modest contribution towards visa, living and travel expenses (from Montreal) for each student as well as providing up to $20,000 in funds to the group if they progress and attain the milestones set by their advisory board. It is partly based on the process described in the book: “Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps”, by Bill Aulet at MIT. (Wiley Press, 2013).


a. Your application containing answers to the questions below is due via email to carol [dot] clelland [at] mcgill [dot] ca before or on Wednesday March 5, 2014. Please begin subject field with “GFSA APPLICATION 2014”. The attached file name must be labeled “YourCompanyName_McGill_GFSA_2014”

b. We will unfortunately select only a small number of applicants for interviews on Monday March 10, 2014 (tentative date-may possibly change-we will confirm). All decisions of the Dobson Centre are final. There may also be a second round of interviews, subject to numbers and logistics, and we will advise finalists of dates etc. should this be the case.

c. Should you be selected, we will need your commitment that your group will attend by 7 days thereafter.


This is only open to McGill students of any level (Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral) that are in good academic standing. They must not be graduating, and all group members must be returning students in September 2014


SEND US AN EMAIL to carol [dot] clelland [at] mcgill [dot] ca with answers to the following application questions compiled in a PDF document named “YourCompanyName_McGill_GFSA_2014”:

Please complete the following in as much detail as possible:

1. Team name:
2. For each team member (maximum 5):
a. First name
b. Last name
c. McGill student: (faculty, degree and year of study)
d. 2-3 sentence bio including all university degrees
3. Name, email address, and phone number of the McGill student founder who will be the primary contact for the team
4. How long team members have known each other, and what have they worked on in the past, including past work done on this project if applicable
5. References – 1-2 people at McGill who knows your team (or key team members) well. Do not list members of the Dobson Centre. Give name, phone number and email.

6. Name of project
7. Category of project (from: Energy, Life Sciences, Mobile, Products & Services, Web & IT, HealthTech). GFSA & Dobson Centre organizers have the discretion to reassign categories.
8. What problem you are trying to solve (150 words or less)
9. Elevator pitch (50 words or less)
10. Tell us a little more about how you’re planning to solve this problem (150 words or less)
11. How is the world a different place if you are successful? (100 words or less)

Proposed Milestones:
12. Customer milestones (list 2-5)
13. Product milestones (list 2-5)
14. Team milestones (list 2-5)
15. Financial milestones (list 2-5)

Additional Project Questions:
16. What inspired your team to get together and work on this project? How long have you been working on it?
17. Who do you view as your competitors, and how do you differ from them?
18. Who is your target customer? (Hint: “Everyone” is not the right answer.)
19. Have you received any funding (including angels, family/friends, personal dollars invested, etc.)? Do you have any customers? (These two questions help us gauge your starting point, so don't worry, there is no "wrong answer.")
20. We will have a lot of applications for this program, so choosing our final teams will be tough. Why do you think you should rise to the top? What sets you apart from other teams?
21. How did you find out about this program? (For internal statistics only – will not affect your chances)
Options: Personal contact with McGill faculty or staff, Email list or email newsletter, Flyers or advertisements, Word of mouth, Personal contact with last year’s participants, Other _________________.

NOTE: All decisions regarding the applications to the GFSA by the Dobson Centre are final. Since only one group will be selected, applicants who are not successful should definitely consider entering the McGill Dobson Cup (see the Dobson Centre event http://goo.gl/c7z2y3 and www.mcgill.ca/Dobson-Cup for details) which is another great opportunity for you to move your ideas and start-up forward.

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